Zika-Related Social Media Chatter Is Picking Up
The latest data from TickerTags provides some useful insight into public concerns over the Zika virus outbreak. TickerTags monitors social media sites to identify trends by searching for words or phrases that are found together in social media content, such as tweets.
According to the data, the current amount of social media buzz surrounding Zika is at a much higher level than any chatter about West Nile and Bird Flu in the past 18 months.
So far, airlines have avoided any major financial fallout from Zika fears, but the number of recent tweets containing both “Zika” and “flight” indicates that travelers are certainly concerned.
Many airlines have begun offering refunds or waived ticket change fees for travelers to impacted regions. Airline investors concerned that fears will worsen in coming months should consider rotating from American Airlines Group Inc (NASDAQ: AAL), the U.S. airline with the most exposure to affected regions, to Virgin America Inc (NASDAQ: VA), which has no exposure in its routes at this point.
Traders who want to play stocks that are well-positioned for a Zika pandemic might consider Chimerix Inc (NASDAQ: CMRX), Gilead Sciences, Inc. (NASDAQ: GILD), Intrexon Corp (NYSE: XON) and Cerus Corporation (NASDAQ: CERS).
Disclosure: The author holds no position in the stocks mentioned.
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